Not Having a Car Broke My Heart

My car was part of that Chevy recall that hit the headlines a while ago. They only manufactured and distributed the parts recently, so I spent several months with my ignition key on a bare key ring and the rest of what I think of as “my keys” kept separately. It was surprisingly frustrating. I connect them into one giant unit for a reason!

I finally went in for the repair about five weeks ago. The last time I delayed recall service, my key got stuck in the ignition while the car was running. It only takes one emergency to change your habits permanently. I didn’t even need the $25 gift card bribe. Now I have a brand new key and the assurance that it will not randomly fall out of the ignition.

Getting that recall service done was easy on the technical side but unexpectedly hard on my emotions.

I’m pretty independent. Oldest kids usually are. For example, it drives my mother crazy that I never call. I do; I just don’t call unless I have news. Then, I call. I also call when she asks me to, as soon as I can. In general, I can take care of myself. This time, I couldn’t.


This recall repair was restricted to weekdays. Although I work far from where I live, the dealer’s courtesy shuttle took me to the office first thing in the morning. One of my roommates works in the same part of town as I do, but she was away for the week. My other roommate wouldn’t be heading home until 10 p.m. at the earliest. I finally reached out to my coworkers. One happened to be going my way, and I wound up really enjoying the time to chat and hang out.

I did not, however, enjoy the emotions of the day. I hate being without my car because my car equals independence. Austin’s public transportation systems are mediocre and they don’t extend far enough for me. (I miss the Metro.) Being carless reminded me that I am, practically speaking, alone. I don’t have a go-to person for anything. I don’t even have a local emergency contact.

I’m independent because, if I don’t take care of business, no one will.


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I am with you there I love the freedom of having my car. The few times I have had to be without it I want to cancel all my plans and just stay home. I actually did once. Now I am trying to see it as a lesson in humility as I learn to ask for help. Not really liking those lessons but most times I have another car to drive. Hope you are mobile again soon

    Oh, thanks! I am back in action now; I was later that day. I even got new keys, and these are much easier to fit onto my key ring. The old ones had thick toppers. I had to use a staple remover to get them on and off my key ring! I struggle with humility, especially in situations like these (when a local best friend, boyfriend, or husband would have come in handy).

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